Thursday, May 15, 2014

CrossFit 3 Month Review

Its been just about 3 months since I wandered into College Hill Crossfit for their into / fundamentals class. I thought I'd do today's blog on some of the changes and improvements I've seen since then.


The Beginning: 
(must of which is reiterated from this post: (http://roubaixramblings.blogspot.com/2014/03/crossfit-1-month-review.html)
As with any new exercise routine the first few weeks will probably be the hardest. With CrossFit all the workouts will be hard. Each workout has a Rx, or prescribed weight / movement standard. They are all scaleable so anyone can do them but as you master movements or weight there are ways to go heavier, harder and / or faster.

I had begun heading to the gym with more regularity in January and had spent time on the elliptical machine some days, and others just a quick 5-10 minutes of cardio to warm up and them some weights. I'd done that for about a month and a half before starting crossfit.

Every class at College Hill CrossFit has a really good warm up. In those first few weeks the warm up almost put me on my ass. I distinctly remembered thinking for at least 2 weeks after every warm up that they (the warm ups of 15ish minutes) were more work than the entire workouts I'd been doing. I would be doubled over gasping for air after some of those and that's when I knew how truly out of shape I'd gotten.

That first real class I went to included 50 bar facing burpees and I thought I would never make it through them. I did and ended up lying on the floor that day for the first, but certanily not last time after a WOD. I was back the next day for another ass kicking and started to enjoy checking to see what the next day would hold at 8pm on Wodify.

After a month I was feeling stronger and better already.

Months 2 & 3:
I couldn't turn the corner on eating cleaner until I got through the MS spring walk season on April 12th. Since then I've done much better eating a Paelo / Zone type diet with a few cheats here and there. I'm losing weight and gaining muscle and already starting to acheive goals and increase the weights I'm lfiting.

A lot of the movements we do regularly I'd never done before starting CrossFit and it's not surprising that those weights increase pretty rapidly. The cool thing is that it's not like we walk in 3 days a week and train for Front Squats. We do different movements every day, hence the appeal of CrossFit to so many. But a month later when you get back to Front Squats its amazing the difference all the WODs have made and the weight goes up.

For Example. The first time I did deadlifts (ever) they kept me at 135. The next time we worked up to a heavy triple and I lifted 305. A few weeks ago we worked up to a 1 rep max and I lifted 375.

First time I'd ever done Front Squats was on 2/24 and I got to 135 and that felt crushing. 4/16 we did a series of 2 rep workups and I got to 185 but failed at 205. On 5/1 I got the 205.

I went from being unsure I could jump up on the 20" box to being okay jumping to 30", although in the WODs I haven't done a lot of box jumps at 24" yet, my knee was hurting a bit during the last one that called for that so I did step ups.

One of my goals is to be able to do a pull up, then 5, then more, etc. I'm damn close to that.
Another goal is to be able to string double unders together with the jump rope so I work on that before class 2-3 times a week and I'm getting better at it. I've been working on a bucket list so to speak and it includes travel, exercise and more. Both of those examples are two of the exercises I'm striving towards.

Those are just a few of the example of weight lifting increases but I think the biggest increase is in cardiovascular endurance. I can do things now that I know I couldn't 3 months ago. The WODs still leave me lying on the ground gasping for air when the time expires or the movements have been met but I'm doing more or doing it quicker or lifting heavier weights during it.

This shit may be crazy but it's also crazy fun. It's an awesome way to compete against yourself and others. People with a little bit of competitive spirit will love it because like in may sports the hard work pays off and you have quantifiable results in front of you.

If you're considering CrossFit I'd have to highly recommend it. Like most other things you need to investigate where you choose to workout at though. There are good gyms and bad ones, I did some research and found a place with great coaches who care about ensuring that you're safe while working as hard as you can.

It's not easy, but it's worth it.

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